LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

Memoir of John Murray
Sharon Turner to John Murray, November 1819

Vol. 1 Contents
Chapter I.
Chapter II.
Chapter III.
Chapter IV.
Chapter V.
Chapter VI.
Chapter VII.
Chapter VIII.
Chapter IX.
Chapter X.
Chapter XI.
Chapter XII.
Chapter XIII.
Chapter XIV.
Chapter XV.
Chapter XVI.
Chapter XVII.
Chapter XVIII.
Chapter XIX.
Vol. 2 Contents
Chap. XX.
Chap. XXI.
Chap. XXII.
Chap. XXIII.
Chap. XXIV.
Chap. XXV.
Chap. XXVI.
Chap. XXVII.
Chap. XXIX.
Chap. XXX.
Chap. XXXI.
Chap. XXXII.
Chap. XXXIV.
Chap. XXXV.
Chap. XXXVI.
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Dear Murray,

The truth about ‘Don Juan’ seems to be this. Shadwell, in settling the bill with Downer’s name, went carefully through the poem. He afterwards took it with him to Westminster, and I think has expressed not only his own opinion, but that of some others at the Chancery bar; for he has apologised for not returning it to me, because S. had borrowed it. His decided tone that the Court will not let the copyright be invaded has much struck me, and the more because in the case of ‘Wat Tyler’ he told me that he thought that book could not be supported. His general opinions are also not favourable to Lord B., and his taste
is highly moral. Yet, though he disapproves of the passages, he is remarkably sanguine that they do not furnish sufficient ground for the
Chancellor to dissolve the injunction. He says the passages are not more amatory than those of many books of which the copyright was never doubted. He added that one great tendency of the book was not an unfair one. It was to show in Don Juan’s ultimate character the ill effect of that injudicious maternal education which Don Juan is represented as having received, and which had operated injuriously upon his mind. He repeated to me several times that, as far as it was possible to foresee an event, he could not doubt of this. You have now all that I have heard before you. My own opinion has been always that of doubt. Yet Shadwell’s confidence makes me doubt my doubt. If I could, I would suppress it altogether in every form, but it can only do more mischief to let cheap editions be circulated.

Ever yours,
Sharon Turner.

Whatever becomes of this, I think your idea of getting Lord B. to prune and replace highly laudable, provided he will do it effectually.